The 1x Dilemma
The 1x Dilemma
by Joel Sehloff, Tech Trainer
So you’re looking at upgrading your bike with ROTOR cranks or power and you suddenly realize the huge range of ring options, a dizzying array of 1x or 2x, aero or open, round or oval. From 46/30 on up to 58/44 or 26t-54t 1x rings, it can be choice paralysis.
While most skinny-tire enthusiasts are most likely more familiar with a 2x setup, the ever growing range of 1x options can ensure the switch over to a 1x drivetrain for a lighter, simpler, and even more aero setup.
The advent of clutch-type rear derailleurs and narrow-wide chainrings has helped to ensure even better chain retention when compared to a traditional 2x setup as well; however, the newest round of clutched 2x derailleurs has helped 2x catch back up on performance, if not simplicity.
Many road/gravel style bikes still come with a traditional 2x drivetrain, but 1x can often present a simple weight-saving upgrade. It is often cheaper to go with a new crank and ring, rather than changing out your derailleur and cassette. If you already have a ROTOR crank/power meter, all you need is the 1x ring to swap out. You may want to even give oval rings a try while you’re at it!
Pros of 1x
- Lighter weight
- Chain security
Pros of 2x
- Greater range compared to 1x11/12 (although not greater than ROTOR’s 1x13, notably,)
- Smaller gaps between gears
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